Cruel to Be Kind… in the right measure

Posted by lettucelose on December 8th, 2011 |Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses |

4/8/11:

Well, officially, I lost 5.2 lbs in the past seven days! I even broke the 270 lbs mark. I am 269.8 lbs as of 5 am.   The interesting thing is that it isn’t as much about calories since I had a couple of days where I ate about 200-300 calories more than BL recommends but about the level of sodium that I have ingested and, quite possibly the amount of H2O I can drink each day.

So, moving forward, I am going to really push to drink more than 100 oz of water each day. I am also going to push for having less than 2500 mg of sodium with the end goal of having around 1500 mg sodium.
Now, that I am seeing the results of what I am doing, it gives me a clearer idea of what to do to hopefully continue to have these kinds of results. This has been a much needed shot in the arm for me psychologically. I was feeling really blue after having two dismal months at going up and down a few pounds. In fact, it also helped to make a better choice for Lenten Friday than I have been making in the past couple of weeks. I decided instead that we would pay the extra cost of having salmon instead of going to McDonald’s and ingesting all of that sodium. So, our dinner will be Alaskan pink salmon, a green salad, baked potatoes.[Correction: it ended up being lots of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, peanut butter on an English muffin. P's job overlapped our dinner hour and I told him to find a place to eat for himself, which he did]

It is hard to say just how much more I can expect to lose before Monday’s “official” weigh in. I would be thrilled to death to be 297 since not only would that mean that I have lost all of that extra bloat I was carrying on for the past couple of months but also I would be one pound less than my “official” weight I have been posting for the past couple of weeks on BLC. I have thought about what I will post on Monday’s weigh in and I will post what I actually weigh. I thought about the whole scenario and I think it would be in my best interest to have the weigh-in match what the scales actually say. Although I wouldn’t have the “ego-lift” of saying I had really dropped the weight that I have done, I would be starting out where my “official” weight matches what it is here at home. I had spent the better part of March covering up the fact that I was bouncing up and down 1 lb here and 1 lb there. Now, I will have “come clean” and I can just post what is actually happening to my weight lose. It is definitely in my best interests to do that. Knowing that the scales here and on BLC site match should be “reward” enough. It will have to be. At least, for this coming Monday.

I will have reinforced my integrity and sense of honesty which is more important than a brief moment of “back at ya” towards my leader and the comments she made the beginning of this month.  I freely admitted in my post that I was both disappointed in my March’s results but also knew some of it stemmed from my efforts. I did mention about stress being one factor. The leader came back pretty heavy-handed and said that there will always be stress and that is no reason to turn to food. Well, that was not what I was saying at all. I did explain that I had been through a highly unusual stressful 3-4 years. It was just not something that was temporary. Both P and I are weary from being under such financial straits for so long. Add to that N’s gender change(2007), Mom’s battle and lost with cancer(2008), both of our jobs being lost(2009) and then my arthritis getting worse(2009) coupled with barely making our rent (we’ve borrowed money four out of the past five months so far since last November 2010 and it would have been five out of five months but he had the foresight to borrow two months’ rent back in November), lack of sleep from the anxiety and depression I feel and, guess what, dieting and exercising were not top of my list. I am not super human. That is all I was saying.

Another person, who obviously has some feelings of intimidation of this leader, posted me with the promise that I would keep it secret (sad) about her feelings towards this leader. This other woman said that she felt that our leader didn’t always realize that she was being hurtful but sometimes it is also difficult to hear what she has to say. I understand her point but again, there is honesty and then there is being blunt to the point of being rude. It is a fine line but it is one where we all have to learn tact at some point in our life.

I was stunned and hurt by the leader’s remarks. After saying my piece, I have been pissed (read: hurt) ever since. It is quite obvious by this person’s lack of apology and her hell bent competitive attitude regarding this particular challenge that she is determined to be “top dog” at any expense, including other people’s feelings. In my opinion, leaders are there to inspire and lead by example not bully and browbeat you into “feeling inferior”. Well, I refuse to buckle on that part. All it does to me is the attitude of “bring it on”. “You want to play hard ball well I’m ready”. Whether she meant to be hurtful or not, it did feel that way and I will say that there has been part of me to want to “show her”. Well, that is plain silly. I need to acknowledge to myself that I had valid reasons why I was not succeeding at my weight lose. I don’t have anything to prove to her. In fact, the best “revenge” will be to continue to stay on track and have really good weeks from now on. If I really want to “show her” and “put her in her place”, which I still secretly do, than I need to really knuckle down and do all I can to facilitate a good weight lose every week. I am sure that at some point I will look back on this and think of how silly I have also been. Sometimes, it is easy to feed into another person’s “issues”. This time I came close to doing just that.

I do want to show that I have been working hard this past week but again I just lost the weight I hadn’t been able to during the month of March. I continued to post 268 lbs because I knew that my sodium intake had been very high and the last week of March I ate whatever I wanted to since I had decided to call a “time out”. I didn’t even log my calories during that time. I figured that once I got back on a healthier food plan the weight would fall off. Well, I was right regarding that. It has. I haven’t exercised since I have been focusing more on getting my food plan back on track and also to get back to a more “normal” sleep pattern. However, I hope to resume some form of exercise either this weekend or Monday. I probably need that extra nudge.

I am also going to do another thing: I am really going to try to stay at the bottom of my calorie range and even try to go 100 calories below that some days. This will probably mean that I will be eating a lot more than 4 servings of vegetables a day but whatever I can do to shave off some calories I am going to do that. I might also have to start drinking less milk. I had been drinking a lot more since I started adding instant coffee to it. I also need to start getting some diet salad dressings since I will probably be using that as a dip for all the raw vegetables that I will be eating.
All of this may take several weeks to arrive at where I would like to be but that is my end goal and that is what I am going to strive for over the next days, weeks, months.

I would rather do a few things well than haphazardly do other things so-so. One of the biggest weaknesses I have had in my past efforts of losing weight on my own is inconsistency. I would have some really great days and then a string of really not so great days. So far, I have been able to sustain a 5.2 lb weight lose this week by trying to correct my sleep patterns, drink more and more water, work at lowering my sodium intake and, of course, tweaking my food plan. However, I do want to say that I have managed to also fit in some chocolate every day. I am really leaning towards dark chocolate so I get some added “benefits” from it.

Again, one thing that I can’t help but notice is that what really helps my hunger is eating really healthy and that does include eating the fruits and vegetables that everyone seems to stress. I will have to admit that they are right. When I eat the minimum recommended of 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables, the rest of my food plan seems to fall into place almost too easily. I do have a tendency to overdo the fruit which can raise my blood glucose and then I will get a craving for more food. I honestly think that eating vegetables blunt my hunger pangs and control my appetite. Who knew?

I was explaining and stressing this “phenomena” to one of the “Coaches” on the Beck Diet Solution. He seemed skeptical but I thought everyone knew that. This is one of the key elements I took away from the South Beach Diet. In fact, I feel it is one of the important strengths of the low carb food plan. Some people are more sensitive to carbs and how they affect their body than other people are. I am able to handle a lot more carbs IF I am more physical but that is the key and something that I can’t always be consistent on; again, because of my knees.

I also think that since a lot of people don’t understand how food affects their bodies chemically they are frustrated and in the dark without needing to be. I really think that Dr. Agaston does a really good job in explaining some of the chemistry behind food in a way that made me have some real “a-ha” moments. I just hate to say that I forget to practice a lot of it. Well, this past week I have implemented some key elements that have allowed me to lose weight each day.  I will continue to push hard to get more water in and also to push that sodium intake down as far as I can comfortably go and still have an interesting choice of foods to eat.

Quite honestly, I am at the point where I don’t really care if I have to stay away from some real diet busters as long as I am losing. I mean, that is what I am trying to accomplish here, right? I am trying to get all of this extra weight off. I have been mistakely sabotaging my efforts for too long to continue to do it now that I have had these revelations. I don’t care if I have to limit my food choices to more home cooked meals, more fruits and vegetables, more water, less sodium, etc. as long as I am losing the weight. That is the real incentive. I also think that success can and does build on itself. I don’t know if I will be able to say a year from now that I am also down 130 lbs like starbrite has been able to do but even if I were down 80 lbs that would still be more than I have been in decades. I’m enthused again. I am psyched. I am pumped. I am motivated. Now, to do it!

Well, again, it seems like I am able to sleep about 4 hours before I have to get up. I had an organic vegetable pizza for breakfast this morning. It’s Lenten Friday for one and we have to eat non-meat food but it was also just nice to have one of my favorite foods instead of trying to fit it in after I have eaten a lot of other foods that I felt like I had to eat “just cause”. I think of all the times that I ate the usual eggs or cereal for breakfast when I really wanted something else to eat. I have broken that “atuomatic pilot” at times and I actually enjoyed having a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast. Again, it really gets back to what I am really hungry for right now instead of settling for what you think you should eat instead of what you really want. It gets back to the emotional component of eating to some extent but also how many times have I eaten many other things only to finally eat what I really wanted in the first place.

Well, this morning that is what I chose to eat, it tasted delicious, it was satisfying for me, met the guidelines of my food plan (organic, vegetables, non-meat) and by eating it early enough in the day I have the rest of the day to “work off” the sodium that is inherent in frozen processed foods.
I hope so because I took two Aleve for my knees and I noticed that the two are 440 mg sodium! Now, I know why they garner a warning for those with weaker hearts. I also know I am going to really need to push the water today.

I just got to thinking about whether weighing every day could also have the same effect of creating an obsession with the scales. I don’t weigh as much with this new scale as I did with my old one. Maybe, because it seems more consistent in the numbers. I also can’t “manipulate” it either by shifting my weight, etc. I just wish I had this scales when I first started last year. I used the old scale and where I was at with that to “go back” to where I thought I was. If that was the case I actually did get over 300 lbs. That is hard to believe but when I think of how some of my clothes fit back then plus I was buying and wearing 26W which sometimes were tight depending on the style, how I was beginning to look through my middle especially and just how I felt overall, I believe I was. I am very grateful that I was able to get as far as I have but I won’t be out of the woods regarding being considered obese until I am at least in the 180s. That is 90 lbs away!

Right now, I feel like I have traveled up and down around the numbers of 265-276 lbs so much that I am almost sick of seeing them when I step on the scales. 265-276 lbs is sort of a “set point” for me and it was in the past as well. I want so badly to see 259 just because it will be out of this particular area I have been in for so long and which I hope to never see again. I made a vow last summer that I would get rid of a lot of the larger sizes as I moved down the scales. I am now also thinking that I have worn some of these clothes so frequently that I will probably be getting rid of them because they are becoming quite worn. So, it might mean that I will need to buy a few clothes in sizes 24W just so I have some clothes that are acceptable to wear out in public. I don’t need an excuse to buy clothes anyway because I just love following the current trends but again it does get back to still needing to buy the larger sizes longer than I thought I would. Wal-mart online has some of the nicest, cheapest plus-sized activewear for women I have ever seen. As we move through the really hot months, I hope that I will be able to supplement what I already have with some clothes. I guess, it will depend on how our finances are. Right now, we are really struggling just to make our monthly bills. There is not a nickel to spare.

Last night P and I went to a free discussion on organic gardening and canning. It was held at our North Fulton County Service Center where we can vote, get car tags, get funding for work-related education, etc. I had heard about it through the woman who gave the series on diabetes that I attended in March. It turned out to be two hours so full of so much information I left feeling excited that I had decided to go after all. I signed up Paul too. I wanted him to be exposed to the ideas so he would have an idea of what I was hoping we would “get into”. It was definitely worth the time. I would have even considered paying for it but being free (both of these) was very exciting, especially at this particular time in our finances.  I have now decided to apply for a plot in the community garden. There are only two spots left so I hope I’m not too late.If they are taken then I will ask to be put on next year’s list. We even both won a door prize each. I won a bag of organic compost and P won a starter canning kit. They served fruits, vegetable,s donut holes and chocolate chip cookies besides water, coffee and tea. I felt like I was really living it up. This is what being so broke for so long has done to me. I am literally grateful for anything “extra”.

The one aspect of all of this that has troubled P and I is the fact that it seems so “uncertain”. We just never know where our next dollar will come from. It is stressful on a day to day basis. Now, as I look over our tax forms, I see that we made $xxxxx in 2010. Even P was surprised! Then, why is it that we feel so stressed about money? Because we don’t have any savings so when he has these fluctuations in his income we scramble to know where the money is going to come from to pay our bills. I need to start contributing some kind of income as well. That would help us a lot. I have a feeling there probably will be this uncertainty for some time until both the economy rectifies itself, we can raise our income and the money coming in, and we are able to reduce our debt significantly as well. The new financial advise from all of the current financial gurus is to “live below your means” and sock a lot of extra cash into savings. Those are the people who are actually “riding this current wave and doing okay”. I am trying to do my best to absorb any/all of this financial advice that is floating around. I can see where I  need to steer us.

Both P and I have realized for some time that we each have strengths and weaknesses that contribute to making our life what it is. Actually, if I could quit being so stressed about things, I would be able to see more clearly just how well he is doing in spite of the local economy and the specialized type of work he is in. As this past couple of years have unfolded Paul has picked up work from several different sources and it continues to grow…slowly, but it is growing. Having said that though, I think both of us did appreciate the security of a weekly paycheck. That is the only thing that I miss about working for someone else. It is so much easier to plan when you know how much you are working with.

4/9/11:

I can’t hardly believe this but I am 268.4 lbs!! I have lost 7.8 lbs since April 1st. Isn’t that amazing? Granted, it was my wish that I would be able to lose all of that sodium-induced water bloat that I was carrying around last month and make it to 268 lb (which is what I have been posting for the past three weeks on the BLC site) but this makes it real!! I am .4 lbs from being where I said I was. It has averaged 1 lb a day. I will say that the increase in vegetable and fruit fiber has made me a little constipated but I am not kicking it at all! I am drinking the additional water which is helping me to “release” the water weight. I don’t even know if I can expect to lose anything more before Monday but I am hoping that I can lose 2 more lbs. That would be a dream come true!!  Now, I feel like I am back on track. Really on track. Now, to stay there.

The other active group on BLC has asked me to join another Buddy Challenge. I am not sure what the details are but I agreed. It begins Monday. That is four groups that I will be reporting to. OY! Well, as long as I can “juggle” it all and do it justice I will continue. After all, these “challenges” do keep a person “accountable” even if it means that it shows up your weaknesses, like last month. Well, if I can’t say anything more than it was a revelation of just how much sodium I was ingesting and how it was impacting my weight lose, which is what this is all about, then I guess it was not all for lose.

4/10/11:

I had my annual eye exam late yesterday afternoon then we went to A’s to have the house sirloin. I ended up having the 9 oz steak, baked potato and broccoli. If you order two “qualifying” entrees, you get a free appetizer. I have always wished it was a salad but it doesn’t work that way. Instead, I got the onion rings with the idea that I would either have just one (or two) or take all of them home. Well, I had 3 small ones then took the remainder home and put them in the freezer. When we came home I checked the A’s website and I found all of my food except that there was no listing for sodium. I guessed and this morning I weighed 271 lbs. However, since then I had a very difficult BM (to pass) and I have eaten about 1/3 of my daily calories. After my nap, I weighed again and that was what I weighed. I am hoping that is only a 2 lb “gain” from having eaten already today. If we would eaten a restaurant meal four hours earlier it might not have affected my morning weight “gain”.  I just had another thought: I could compare notes with other restaurants and use theirs as a gauge for the sodium. It is better than guessing.

I went on GC’s website but I noticed that their restaurant seems to be more heavy-handed with sodium although I did write down similar food items for comparison. I had written down some of the other entrees that A’s have and I noticed that their sodium level was lower than GC. However, these were also “diet” entrees which I would think they have made an effort to lower calories, sodium and fat. I did some “ballparking” and after several calculations, tentatively, I have come up with what I think seems reasonable levels of sodium based on comparing with other entrees they have listed with the complete information. Well, no such luck so all I can do is gauge how the scales reads the next morning for now.

On a different topic, I also got a very heavy period early this evening. I started out with some strong cramps and the bleeding progressed over a period of hours. I passed a lot of larger clots and I’ve been bleeding very heavily for about four hours. Every time I get up from this chair, I feel more “come out”. It’s kept me busy changing my clothes, cleaning up and doing additional loads of laundry. I am not sure I am out of the woods yet. I plan on going to sleep within a half hour so I hope that this begins to taper off. One thing that I also hope is that this will help my Monday morning weigh in. I suspect that there was more sodium in the meal I had Saturday night than I suspected. Also, today I had 1000 calories in “fun size” Snickers bars. I logged all but 320 calories of those. I just couldn’t admit that I went 400 calories over my top of my range. It’s enough to log what I did log. Although I have been hungry since 9 pm, I decided to wait until 2 am to have a sandwich, skim milk and an apple. It can go on Monday’s food log although it may/may not affect my weigh in. So, right now, I am hoping that this heavy period will give me a 2 lb lose although it is not showing up on the scales right now. I know. I have weighed every time I go into the bathroom.

I’ve agreed to another “challenge” with another group. I had joined one of their challenges last summer. I started too with a “decluttering” one but it just seemed too overwhelming to me. I really don’t have that much to declutter although I certainly have quite a bit to do that I have been procrastinating on.

Ideally, I would also like to begin exercising again on a daily basis. Also, I need to switch out my cold weather wardrobe with my warm weather wardrobe. Somewhere in the midst of all that I would also like to finish up the painting that I began in here about a month ago.

I hate to admit this but the past couple of weeks I have spent almost all of my waking hours here at the computer and it was mostly playing online games. My sleep has settled down into a more familiar pattern of going to bed before 3 am the past several nights but I am still having difficulty sleeping more than four hours at a time. I took a long nap earlier this evening but I didn’t feel well. Between the cramps and my allergies, I just wanted to lay down.

4/11/11:

I am very happy to say that I was able to put down my “official” weight today as 267.2 lbs!! However, getting there was quite the ordeal from yesterday’s 271 lb. (and I am assuming the added sodium in the evening meal we had at A’s). I began bleeding around 5 pm but it started out slowly then built up momentum. At one point for several hours, I was changing my super maxi overnight pads every half hour. I was passing a lot of clots each time that I bled as well.  I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I felt I was able to go to bed and get some sleep. I lost 3.8 lbs during that time. That is a lot of body fluids. I was so weak when I went to bed. I slept for about 3 1/2 hours before I got up. I had to change then too. I had a light breakfast, posted everything on my different groups and went back to bed. I was able to sleep for another 5 1/2 hours. I had a late afternoon lunch and then I returned to sleep for another 3 1/2 hours. So, I slept a total of 12 1/2 hours!! That isn’t even including the sleep that I had on Sunday. I still weak but nothing like I did earlier today. I don’t know how many more periods like that I can handle.

4/14/11:

My early am weight is 270.4 lbs. I think this reflects that I ate 600-900 extra calories over the top of my calorie range. I slept well last night although I hope to return to bed soon for a few hours more before I “get movin” for the day. If I can stay within my calorie range the next several days, drink the water that I have been drinking and maybe even fit in some physical activity, I might see that 265.6 lb that I saw the other day. I hope so.

Last night, while Paul was at choir practice, I began reading the Beck Diet Solution. To me, this seemed so familiar that I am almost certain that I tried doing this book before. I am going to follow it as the author wants you to. So, last night, I made up Advantage/Response cards. These are single sentences that I am to read several times a day, much like subliminal programming, to assist me in developing the “resistance” to avoid eating for all the wrong reasons. I feel really pleased that I did not allow myself to eat more than a cold chicken sandwich and some raw vegetables for a light supper, even though I knew that they would push my calorie limit over the 2100 peak. I felt that if I hadn’t eaten that, I might have felt too hungry and overeaten later, usually less healthier choices, thus boomeranging and potentially widening the calorie gap even more. I think, that decision and subsequent action, would be considered following the BDS philosophy.

I also still stuck to the fruit/vegetables servings yesterday. Today, I decided to start trying to stay within 45-60 carb grams per “sitting”. That is what is recommended for diabetics to manage their blood sugar. I wore my pedometer and even though I sat a lot I did manage to take 1100 steps. Anything under 2500 is considered sedentary but I’m not fooling myself. I am sedentary. At least, for now.

Well, the game is still on. I made my goal of losing 20 lbs by Memorial Day and I am still going to do that. That could/would put me at 250 lb or less. I would like to see if I can scan our most recent portrait (for our church directory) onto a Photo Shop page on the computer, crop it and then save it to my flash drive so I could upload it as my avatar for both 3FC and BLC. Even though my double chin was “touched up”, I still think that it looks enough like me right now that I would like to add it as my most recent photo for both sights. I am also going to keep updated photos of me on both sites as I lose the weight. 10% of my weight would be 27 lbs. which would 249 lbs or by Memorial Day.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]


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